A new South African website for poetry went up a few months ago called AVBOB POETRY. I wasn’t quite sold to the idea, but in the end I submitted 26 poems (I think) and a handful got accepted. Not sure if that’s a good rate or not, but a foot in the door is better than being completely shut out, right?
The poems had to deal with themes of love, birth, death and hope.
I’m still finding it tricky navigating the site, but my poems are up and free to read.
You have to search by title. So here they are (I can’t give links to each poem, you need to enter the title in the search box):
Window of Days
My Brother Lives on the Other Side
Falling in Reverse
Would You Hate Birds for Crossing Borders?
Song for Liesl
Leave a comment | tags: AVBOB Poetry, Jim Pascual Agustin | posted in Africa, Creatures, environment, Filipino poetry, Filipino-South African, Fragments and Moments, Life in a different world, Mga Tula / Poetry, Uncategorized
photo by Erik de Castro found on Yahoo News
are squirming with worms
that take the place
of forensic investigators.
They seek the shortest
and most efficient way
of exposing bone.
To those unacquainted
with the language
of final repose,
the worms render
have lost the need
for food and water,
for the rare solace
of undisturbed moments
at the toilet.
Hope leaves no trace
in their hollowed skulls.
Only the living carry
that weight as they navigate
the mute streets, the dark
alleys, the witnesses
to the carnage.
Is there really
no memory in heaven?
The world seems to be on a tailspin – so-called leaders are intent on taking entire countries into variations of hell on earth. In my country of birth, it has been reported that over 8,000 people have been killed under the reign of President Rodrigo Duterte. Among the victims are children, innocent bystanders, and relatives who could not point to the whereabouts of a supposed target.
I entered this poem in the current Goodreads.com poetry competition. I don’t know if the good judges will choose it as a finalist, but I just wanted to put it out for as many readers as possible.
In the Philippines, there is a practice of not wiping the tears that fall on the coffin. It is also believed that if one places a young chick on the glass of the coffin with some seeds to peck at, those responsible for the death will never find peace.
The photo is credited to Erik de Castro, image found on Yahoo News.
9 Comments | tags: #DuterteTutaeNgMgaMarcos, chick on top of coffin, Duterte, EJK, Erik de Castro, human rights violations, Jim Pascual Agustin | posted in Creatures, Filipino poetry, Filipino-South African, Jim Pascual Agustin, Mga Tula / Poetry, poetry, politics, Uncategorized
PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL for Wings of Smoke
Please send me a request if you wish to read this sampler.
Wings of Smoke is available worldwide through The Onslaught Press website, on Amazon and, for South African readers, through me (leave a message here).
I also put up an audio recording of the set on Soundcloud.com.
Leave a comment | tags: Jim Pascual Agustin, poetry collections, poetry sampler from Wings of Smoke, sampler, Soundcloud, The Onslaught Press, Wings of Smoke | posted in Africa, Asia, Creatures, environment, Filipino poetry, Filipino-South African, Jim Pascual Agustin, Life in a different world, Literary News & Articles, Mga Tula / Poetry, poetry, Uncategorized, Wings of Smoke
It’s great to see two more poems appear on the fantastic site AERODROME. I wrote “Wood and String” after a video prompt from an international competition at Poetry International. It received honorable mention. Now it has its own page shared with another poem that has been around since… 2010. 🙂 I hope you enjoy both of them.
HERE IS THE LINK
image from wikipedia
Thank you to the editors of Aerodrome!
2 Comments | tags: Aerodrome, Filipino poetry, Jim Pascual Agustin, poetry | posted in Africa, Creatures, environment, Filipino poetry, Filipino-South African, Fragments and Moments, Jim Pascual Agustin, Mga Tula / Poetry, poetry, Uncategorized
My poem, “The Unspoken Child,” just went up on Aerodrome. It’s an odd piece that mixes memory and longing with elements from fantasy/horror movies – or one could just say a child’s imagination, just so potential readers don’t get creeped out. If you’re going to ask if any of this was real, as always my answer would be YES and NO.
I’m really glad that the poem has found a home so far from home, a place to haunt outside of my own head. Speaking of head, the original title was “The Head of a Child,” lifted from a line of a fantastic poem by Jimmy Pappas. Maybe one day I can get his permission to share that poem. For now, thank you, Jimmy.
My poem forms part of “Counting Backwards,” the opening section of a forthcoming book, A Thousand Eyes (UST Publishing House 2015 – hopefully).
There may be a bit of a gap between this and the next poem that sees publication as I have not sent out poems for a while.
Leave a comment | tags: A Thousand Eyes, Aerodrome, Jim Pascual Agustin, The Unspoken Child, UST Publishing House | posted in A Thousand Eyes, Asia, Creatures, environment, Literary News & Articles, Mga Tula / Poetry, poetry, Uncategorized
Early versions of two poems were accepted and published on Poppy Road Review on 10 May 2014. Around the same time one of the manuscripts I put together was accepted for publication. Both poems will be in the new book hopefully to be released in 2015 by my faithful publisher, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. I said “early versions” because I have since revised the poems and the final versions will be in A THOUSAND EYES.
Thank you to all my readers.
Leave a comment | tags: A Thousand Eyes, Jim Pascual Agustin, Land of Wolves, Poppy Road Review, The Ghosts of Fukushima, Univesity of Santo Tomas Publishing House | posted in A Thousand Eyes, Creatures, environment, Europe, Fragments and Moments, Influences, Mga Tula / Poetry, poetry, Uncategorized
In January 2011 my two books were born: Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin. I was elated to have those two books published (both by UST Publishing House) for it had been a long gap since the last collection (Salimbayan, 1994). Soon after I wrote the first draft of the following poem. This one eventually joined a new set of poems that would become Sound Before Water (UST Publishing House, 2013), a much slimmer volume than the previous two which contain poetry from over 15 years. In a forthcoming review of this new collection this poem gets mentioned for the oddity of its title. I am posting this version – the one that is now in the book, as if being in book form makes it final! – perhaps as an invitation to adopt my paper children and make room for them in a new home.
It pains me not to be in the same country where these paper children are born. All I can do from where I am is tell as many people online how much I wish and hope the best for them. I will post a link to the review once it is available. For now, I share this with you.
How to Sell a Child Door to Door
for Karu and Skin, my paper children
tell them this child has no parent
and can only bring joy
to its new home
bring light and promise
into the room
as it silently sits
in their hands
even as the world burns
outside the window
tell them everything
they want to hear
that might make them smile
anything just to get
this child’s little foot
in the door
do not bat an eyelid
should the child
gasp at fragments
of moth wings
by the kettle
no one invites sorrow
into their lives
2 Comments | tags: Alien to Any Skin, Baha-bahagdang Karupukan, Jim Pascual Agustin, Philippines, poetry, Sound Before Water, South Africa, UST Publishing House | posted in Africa, Alien to Any Skin, Baha-bahagdang Karupukan, Butterfly Moments, Creatures, environment, Fragments and Moments, Kalmot ng Pusa sa Tagiliran, Life in a different world, Literary News & Articles, Mga Tula / Poetry, poetry, Sound Before Water, Uncategorized
The following post may be upsetting. I hope it is.
I found a photo off Facebook with the following text:
In this photo, a female trophy hunter sits smirking on top of the giraffe she blasted to death with a rifle as it ate from a tree.
With these kinds of “hunts,” wealthy individuals are usually driven to the spot by guides who know where the animals are. The clients then shoot and kill the animals, often while sitting in the Land Rover that brought them.
Even more unconscionable, some safaris are “canned hunts,” in which captive animals raised this purpose, are placed inside a fenced-in enclosure for the “hunter” to shoot.
Here’s the hunting company’s description of this event:
“We took Shelley out this morning with the thoughts of maybe getting a giraffe. We found this big bull feeding in the trees, and Shelley put 2 good shots in him before he went down. Big mature bull. We have it all here, and we want to share it with YOU”.
If you’d like to share your thoughts with the company that runs these “hunts” for a select and wealthy clientele (other clients include Ted Nugent and family) you can reach them via their website here: http://www.allhunts.com/Limpopo_Dangerous_Game.php
Photo credit – facebook.com https://www.facebook.com/KoeshallsWorldHuntingAdventuresAndTaxidermyLlc/photos_stream
Here is the photo:
In response to the sadness evident in Shelley’s eyes, I wrote to her:
Dear Shelley, I forgive you. You must have been very hungry and cold. Please send me all the photos your admiring friends will take as you take huge bites of that animal. I would like to know if you enjoyed every piece of it, including its tail and ass. Please could you also tell us who your friends are. There are more animals in need of being shot by your kind. Will you also teach them the correct way of firing a gun? The tiny hole where the bullet flies out of should be pointed at each shooter’s head. Teamwork and perfect choreography is needed. God loves you.
Then I thought maybe I should find out if she has friends with the same tragic look. So I went to the website of the company that helped her deal with the sadness. And this is what I found:
Want to help them all? Please click the above photo and it should take you to the website of the company where you can express what you feel about the group hugs they managed to capture on camera. Some of them are even on video.
Leave a comment | tags: Animal Shame, Limpopo Dangerous Game, Shelley, World Hunting Adventures | posted in Africa, Capitalism's greed, Creatures, environment, Influences